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When people decry Stand Your Ground laws, they tend to misrepresent them as somehow legalizing murder. They think you can gun someone down and say you thought they were scary and walk. That’s not how it works, and that isn’t what Stand Your Ground laws are for.
A Florida father chased down and shot a carjacking suspect who deputies say drove off with the man’s 2012 Honda and 6-year-old son, who was sitting inside the vehicle at the time.
Just after 2:30 a.m. Saturday, 29-year-old Lamar Thurman got behind the wheel of the owner’s car, which was left running outside a Lantana residence while the unidentified victim said goodbye to friends, according to a Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office news release.
Thurman drove away, but the boy’s father and his friends gave chase, calling 911 as they followed the Honda, according to PBCSO officials. Thurman crashed the car about five miles away, and the vehicle temporarily became stuck before he managed to free it as the father and his friends approached.
Thurman then allegedly tried to drive away, but the father opened fire, hitting Thurman several times. He crashed about 200 yards away.
The child was unharmed.
Folks, there’s no doubt in my mind that this is as clear a case of Stand Your Ground as you’re going to find. After all, the law tends to allow the use of force to stop “forcible felonies.” Kidnapping is most definitely a forcible felony.
Most of us would allow a car thief to take off with our car. We recognize that it’s not a forcible felony and, as such, we’re not justified to use force to stop it. Thurman allegedly hopped into a running car. He didn’t brandish a weapon or issue any threats to gain access to the vehicle, so there was no reason…
…except there was a child in the car. That’s kidnapping.
Oh, he may not have meant to, but he allegedly did, so I’m not interested in that excuse. He committed a crime and, in the process, took off with a young child. It’s unlikely he didn’t know the boy was in the car at some point during the five miles he drove before his first crash. Still, he continued. At that point, any sympathy he might have gained evaporated.
Instead, he got shot.
When you read the headline starting, “Florida Man…” we tend to cringe waiting for tales of someone being colossally stupid. In this case, the stupid is Thurman’s alleged actions. The father did what he had to do, and it sure as hell looks as wholly justified as anything we’re likely to see again. I don’t know that I could have blamed the father if he’d have curb stomped Thurman after the fact, though that would have been going too far, at least according to the law.
I’m glad the only one hurt was the alleged carjacking, kidnapping scumbag and not the innocent child who could easily have been killed at any point.